At its core, every manager’s primary responsibility is to assemble a team of strong workers, foster their growth and drive maximum productivity. But determining what makes a great employee is more complex than ever. Getting people who arrive on time and focus on the tasks at hand is good, but it’s not enough in today’s competitive business environments.
Liz Ryan, CEO and founder of Human Workplace, a publishing, coaching and consulting firm, recently examined 10 qualities of outstanding employees for Forbes.com. Here are some highlights:
Cross-trained – By knowing more than the procedures of their own job, outstanding employees are able to make innovative suggestions that can produce important changes.
Relationship builders – Outstanding employees constantly build strong internal and external relationships so they are in place when challenges arise.
Forethought – The value of having employees who look ahead and anticipate trends or challenges for your company or industry cannot be overstated.
Candid – Value those employees who speak their mind about sensitive topics, whether it’s pushback on procedures, corporate culture or any other aspect of your company. A related quality Ryan touts is the willingness to address conflict instead of avoiding it while maintaining respect for everyone on the team.
Eager to mentor – Outstanding employees derive great satisfaction from coaching and mentoring people around them. They understand knowledge is more powerful when it’s shared with others.
When you have these types of outstanding workers, it’s important to recognize them and reward them with more than a paycheck.
“You might be an excellent employee without being recognized for it – that happens to a lot of people,” Ryan states. “If you are an outstanding employee stuck in an undeserving organization, your path is clear – it leads up and out of there, and on to your brilliant future.”
Don’t let outstanding employees walk. Let them know how much you value them.